HMRC appoints interim successor following departure of top lawyer Gill Aitken

Written by Tamsin Rutter on 19 June 2018 in News

David Bunting to leave Border Delivery Group to take on general counsel role on temporary basis

HM Revenue and Customs has appointed David Bunting, who currently works in the cross-government Border Delivery Group, as its interim general counsel and solicitor.

Bunting will start at HMRC on 1 July after Gill Aitken, currently the most senior lawyer at the tax agency, moves to become registrar at the University of Oxford at the end of the month.

An open recruitment process will take place in the coming months to fill the role on a permanent basis, HMRC said in a statement.


Bunting trained in the Inland Revenue and has more than 20 years’ legal experience. He has led HMRC legal teams dealing with tax policy and legislation in relation to UK business and environmental taxes including Corporation Tax, VAT, Customs and Excise duties, oil and gas taxation, Landfill Tax, Climate Change Levy and betting and gaming duties. He has also led HMRC’s litigation activity.

In 2008 he became a senior civil servant, and in 2012 was appointed legal director at HMRC. In 2017 he moved to the Border Delivery Group – a cross-government team led by HMRC’s director general for border coordination Karen Wheeler, which focuses on the operational and practical impacts of Brexit on UK borders.

On 1 July, Bunting will become director general of the Solicitor’s Office and Legal Services Group and will join the department’s executive committee, reporting to chief executive Jon Thompson.

There will be an open recruitment process in the coming months to fill the role permanently, and HMRC said it would confirm any new arrangements in the Border Delivery Group in due course.

Aitken has been at the tax agency since 2014. Commenting on her departure, Thompson said: “She has helped to shape our departmental strategy and I’ll really miss her wise counsel.”

About the author

Tamsin Rutter is senior reporter for Civil Service World and tweets as @TamsinRutter

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